9/11 memorial stair climb in Sarnia raises significant funds

9/11 memorial stair climb in Sarnia. Image courtesy of Lambton College Fire Science Professor Scott Brown.

A memorial stair climb in Sarnia to honour 343 New York City firefighters who lost their lives in the attacks on the World Trade Centre has raised over $45,000 U.S. so far.

Saturday is the 20th anniversary of the September 11 tragedy.

Lambton College Fire Science Professor Scott Brown said before the pandemic they would take students to New York City to visit Ground Zero and the museum.

“Not being able to do that last year, or this year, really sort of got my thought process rolling as to what we could do and with the 20th anniversary, I knew that this would be an event that would probably meet or exceed the experience that our students have had in the past,” said Brown.

It’s expected that 210 participants, some in full firefighting gear, will climb the stairs at Progressive Auto Sales Arena that day.

“Our participants are made up of firefighters from across Ontario. We have students from Windsor, all the way past Toronto, to the Bruce Peninsula, making up our climbing cohort this weekend.”

Brown said they’ll start walking, approximately 2,200 steps at 8:46 a.m. The time marks when the first plane hit the first tower and the distance simulates the 110 flights the fallen men and women had to travel to reach the top of the towers.

The climb is expected to take up to two hours and each participant will wear a badge with the name and photo of one of the fallen 9/11 firefighters.

Photo badges for the 9/11 memorial stair climb in Sarnia. Image courtesy of Lambton College Fire Science Professor Scott Brown.

Photo badges for the 9/11 memorial stair climb in Sarnia. Image courtesy of Lambton College Fire Science Professor Scott Brown.

Guests have been asked to gather at the Athletics and Fitness Complex on campus for opening ceremonies at 8 a.m.

The group will then be led to the arena by the Sarnia Legion Pipe Band.

As of Saturday morning, the climb has raised $45,688 in U.S. funds to support the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation in the United States and the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

Both organizations help families of firefighters who have lost their lives while on duty.

To donate, click here.